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Alkalizing Raw Foods

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Blood pH is extremely important to one's health, yet it is rarely discussed. If one's blood pH is too acidic, the cells will be starved of both oxygen and essential nutrients, but there is also danger if one's blood pH becomes too alkaline, though it is far less commonplace than the reverse. For one to achieve and maintain the optimal blood pH, they must first establish where they currently stand on the pH scale and monitor their efforts over time. There's more than one way to determine the blood's pH, but the only way to achieve and maintain an optimal blood pH is through diet. Below, I have listed some of the most popular and alkalizing whole foods.

Highly Alkaline Whole Foods:

  • Lemons 
  • Limes 
  • Lotus root 
  • Nectarines 
  • Onions
  • Persimmons 
  • Pineapple 
  • Raspberries 
  • Watermelon 
  • Tangerines 
  • Sweet potatoes 
  • Seaweed 
  • Spirulina 
  • Most leafy green vegetables

These foods are among the most alkaline, but there are many, many more. Other popular whole foods like broccoli, apples, asparagus, apricots, cashews and cantaloupes are also alkaline. They are not as alkaline as the foods I've listed above, but they are not too far behind. It's important to understand that what makes a food alkaline is how the body reacts to it. There are many foods that are alkaline outside of the human body, but acidifying within; milk is a good example of this. On the other hand, lemons, limes and the other citrus fruits I've listed are known to be acidic outside of the body, yet, are alkalizing within.

Research studies have shown that an acidic blood pH (called acidosis) can greatly increase one's susceptibility to many illnesses, including heart disease, osteoporosis, diabetes, arthritis and cancer. It has even been shown to compromise one's overall immunity. A study published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, May 10, 2013, concluded that an acidic blood pH represents a new danger signal alerting the innate immunity. So, low blood pH may “contribute to inflammation in acidosis-associated pathologies such as atherosclerosis and post-ischemic inflammatory responses.” The study also found that “Acidic extracellular pH caused rapid intracellular acidification.” This should come as no surprise, as the cells depend on blood and other extracellular fluids for nourishment. And research published in the Journal of Leukocyte Biology, April 2001, discussed how acidosis may lower immunity. “Investigations on polymorphonuclear leukocytes demonstrate mainly inhibition of chemotaxis, respiratory activity, and bactericidal capacity at reduced pH. Evidence of impaired lymphocyte cytotoxicity and proliferation at acidic pH is also beginning to emerge. Many of the clinical acidoses are accompanied similarly by immunodeficiency. ”

Polymorphonuclear leukocytes are a type of immune cell with enzymes that are released during infections, allergic reactions, and asthma. Chemotaxis is the movement of an organism in response to a chemical stimulus. Anything that inhibits that natural response to stimuli inhibits an organism's ability to protect and preserve itself. Cytotoxicity refers to immune cells that are toxic to other cells. NK (natural killer) cells, which are responsible for destroying mutated cells (such as cancer), are a perfect example of cytotoxic cells.

The pH Scale

The pH scale ranges from 0 to 14. The low end of the pH scale is acidic, the high end is alkaline (aka “basic”); for example, at 0 there is battery acid, at 1 lemon juice. At the other end of the scale there's lye at 14 and ammonia at 12/13. Neither end is optimal for one's blood, obviously. One wants to achieve and maintain a happy medium, but one that leans a little more toward alkaline than acidic. The ideal pH for blood is considered to be 7.4.

It's important to understand that the pH scale is logarithmic, meaning that each whole pH value below 7 is ten times more acidic than the next higher value. The same holds true for pH values above 7. For example, a pH of 8 is ten times more alkaline than a pH of 7 and 100 times more alkaline than a pH of 6, because 10 times 10 is 100. If one's blood pH moves too far below 6.8 or above 7.8, the cells can no longer function, for the reasons mentioned above, and one will most certainly die.

Determining Blood pH

There are three ways to determine the blood's pH: Saliva, urine and blood.

The saliva pH test is the fastest and most convenient, but also the least accurate, if it's not prepared for properly. To insure greater accuracy, one should wait at least two hours after eating before taking the test, because the food eaten shortly before testing can either increase or decrease one's blood pH level. Waiting till the food is at least somewhat digested increases the test's accuracy. It is also recommended that one does more than one test per day to be certain of the results. One can find pH test strips at most local pharmacies, as well as online. Just follow the directions on the package.

The urine pH test works pretty much the same as the saliva pH test only with urine. For this test one will also need pH test strips. The first test of the day should be taken after the first trip to the restroom. The subsequent tests should be taken a few hours after eating, for the same reason as the saliva test.

The blood pH test is far less convenient than the first two, but is generally more accurate. For this test you will need to visit your doctor's office to have blood drawn.

Achieving Optimal Blood pH

It's been established that acidosis can not only be corrected by eating a diet rich in alkalizing foods, like those I've listed above, but also by removing highly processed foods from one's diet. But also remember that there are many acidic foods that are also good for one's health and well-being – certain nuts, cranberries, corn, plums and prunes among them, but the key is achieving a balance. If one's blood pH is lower or higher than 7.4, it is a simple matter to choose foods that are alkalizing or acidic to reach that optimal level. It's a balancing act, like good nutrition in general.

The health advantages of achieving and maintaining an optimal blood pH should not be underestimated. Thankfully, it's fairly easy to achieve and maintain the ideal blood pH on a raw vegan diet, especially once one knows what to eat and what to avoid. 


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